Friday, February 22, 2008

Aw heck, life just shrunk again

More evidence that Finding My Soul's True Purpose isn't a Happily Ever After, or an exemption from some of the disappointments inherent in life.

Billy talked long and earnestly with me about Scott yesterday at pick up. The gist is that Scott isn't 'getting' the context of classroom. He doesn't share the same set of assumptions that most children are in harmony with by now in school. He doesn't 'speak school'. Billy recommends further evaluation, possibly an IEP specifically for attention issues, and further involvement of special education.

At the time we were talking it seemed that what was called for was to increase my presence in the classroom, since Scott has done fairly well on the two days I've volunteered. Now I wonder if I prematurely jumped to that conclusion, since I'd been harboring it as a fear: that one afternoon a week wasn't going to be sufficient. It's done, though: I've committed myself to staying for 2 hours every morning when I drop him off. I asked if maybe their special education person could just observe and evaluate for now and serve as a consult for me. I want to carefully consider if there is a downside to getting a 'learning disabled' label--if benefits outweigh drawbacks I'll go with the label.

I'm still harboring a hope that what's needed for Scott isn't so much 'services', but maybe guidance in crossing a threshold the other kids are doing more automatically: negotiating the transition to being a member of a learning community. He's not doing it on his own, and maybe he needs a more present and intimate guide to help bridge this gap. A classroom teacher just can't do this--or maybe could if there was a classroom size of 4-5 children.

So I'm going to try to be that Guide, and see if a more hands-on orienting presence might be a stop-gap while he is figuring out his own self-regulation. I can lend him my self-regulation while he's developing his.

Sigh. The personal cost to me is seems I've been ceding territory a bit at a time. Several weeks ago I wrote about the agony of choices where it seemed that something dear was going to need to be sacrificed. It's clear to me that it's not going to be Scott.

So how does this fit in to the miracle? The elegant solution that seemed like it had met all of the immediate needs without sacrificing any? Does this diminish it? I've gone from 7 hours a day (on the days they have school--it seems this school system has a day off every other week between the long vacations) of solitude (with the exception of volunteering several hours on Wed) to 5 and a half three times a week and 2 and a half on Fridays. NOW it's down to 3 hours 4 days a week, 2 and a half on Fridays. Is the 'miracle' that instead of having a major amputation all at once, I've instead gotten whittlings? A chance to get used to it between whacks?

The resource of time now needs to be rationed and divided up between competing interests: blogging, journaling, transcribing old journals, reading, and trying to keep current with the news. I've chosen blogging right now over showering. Now I'm back to feeling like I'm choosing among my various children (all of this said with awareness that a lot of women in the world would experience having these choices as luxury). This latest adjustment is deep enough to hurt.

One thing I do have in exchange for this time is less anxiety about Scott. Though it looks like he may indeed having learning issues, I think this is a learning environment that will actually help him, not compound his issues. It's also a classroom that I can stand to think of spending 8 hours (or more????) a week in--it would have been unbearable at the other school. This is a very different atmosphere; I don't feel on edge at Trillium.

Back to the perfect position to be a 'kindee'. Which, as I've complained before, is not a comfortable place to be.


Lori Lavender Luz said...

Uggg. I can just imagine how disappointed you are.

Maybe, to support you as you support your child, maybe your husband could replenish some of your lost time over the weekends. Just 2-4 hours, as his contribution to his son, too.

Maybe too idealistic. But really, why should this fall on you 100%?

excavator said...

Yes, I am trying to come up with an adequate compensation package ;D

Seriously, I can see that I'm going to need to replace some of what I'll be losing. And yes, I think that this is going to involve some participation from Gary.

Maddy said...

Oh I shouldn't laugh, but when you said you'd chosen blogging over showering I couldn't help myself.

I'm right with you on the 'carving up time' dilemma. I do know that things do improve given time.

Only last year, my boys had 13 hours of therapy after school and I was forever rushing around. This year we're down to four hours [although that was mainly due to my surgery not the boys' needs unfortunately]
Best wishes

Suzy said...

It seems like such a balancing act, but when everything is a priority, what then is THE priority?

Carving out time and space for yourself is needed to keep your sanity.

All the best.